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‘Touch and Go’ Boarding with JAL

The JAL Group is planning to introduce new domestic passenger services using IC card technology, including a ticket-less check-in service developed by JAL for domestic airports in Japan and an IC Coupon system for converting mileage awards into electronic money for shopping at airport shops and JAL Group hotels. JAL said it will issue new cards for these services when they come available in winter 2004-5, for holders of the group’s frequent flyer program card - JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) - and JAL Card credit card holders.This new JAL IC Check-in service will allow cardholders who choose to use JAL’s domestic ticket-less service, to board domestic flights without a ticket or a boarding pass. There will be no need to queue at an airport check-in counter or to use a self check-in machine. IC card holders just ‘Touch and Go’ with their card at the boarding gate. This new service will start at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport this winter and will later be installed at other domestic airports in Japan.

Ticket-less passengers reserve via Internet. All relevant data for their flight booking is recorded in the system, which also recognizes their card. Access to the boarding area through airport security gates is made by using the ‘Touch and Go’ card at the security check-point.

The JAL IC Coupon is a new style of JAL Mileage Bank (JMB - the JAL Group FFP) award system and is basically an electronic version of the paper coupons currently exchanged for accumulated mileage. Mileage credits will be charged to the IC card and converted into yen. Cardholders can then use the stored amount for paying for purchases at JAL hotels in Japan and at shops at Haneda Airport (the retail outlet needs an IC Card reader).

A major convenience of this IC card is that compared to the conventional JMB 5,000 yen paper coupon, the IC card can be used for purchases for the exact cash price, leaving a balance on the card. Currently no change is given for 5,000 yen coupons used for purchases of goods priced less than 5,000 yen. Eventually, this service will be available for paying for in-flight shopping goods and for ticketing.

New cards for old: Current JAL Mileage Bank membership cards will be replaced with IC cards at the customer’s request. JAL Card credit cards with the IC function will be replaced at the normal time of renewal or on customer demand. These services will also be available through domestic IC mobile telephones (NTT Docomo, I-mode FeliCa) and with the new ‘‘JAL Card Suica’’ also to be introduced this winter. This card will allow users to travel by ‘Touch and Go’ on trains operated by JR East Japan Railways, Tokyo Monorail and on JAL domestic flights.